MARCH 2021 EDITION South West Hospital and Health Service

MARCH 2021 EDITION South West Hospital and Health Service
South West Hospital and Health Service

                   2021 EDITION
MARCH 2021 EDITION South West Hospital and Health Service
Announcement –                                                        Our Teams                                            21
          Acting Health Service Chief Executive               3
                                                                                Turning red to end domestic violence                 21
          From the Board Chair                                4
                                                                                Chief Allied Health Officer visit to Roma            22
          Board out and about                                 5
          From the Acting HSCE                                7
                                                                                Our Services                                        23
          Our Communities                                     8
                                                                                Health forum commits to greater collaboration
          Close the Gap Day – A Shared Vision for                               and better support for partners of rural and
          Health Equality                                     8                 remote health workers                                23

          First Nations COVID-19 Response Project Team        9                 MAYBO training delivering across the
                                                                                South West                                           25
          South West’s COVAX Lead Robyn Brumpton             10

          Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
          and Engagement                                      11                Our Resources                                       26
          Charleville triathlon a winner                      12                New cardiac monitoring machine for Surat             26

          Thank you to Heather Geary                          13                South West Spirit recipient Rebecca Crouch           27

          From the travels of Michael Redden –
          Western Sector Stage 2                              14

          Rekindling culture in Cunnamulla                    15

          Healthy Kids – Professional Development
          for Early Childhood Educators                      16

          Breath, Blow, Cough for good hygiene               16

          Happenings at Waroona                               17

          International Women’s Day at Charleville
          Healthy Ageing                                     18

          Injune’s Day of Difference                         19

          Congratulations Carmel on 60 years!                20

Cover image: Jill and Lawrie Usher from Charleville volunteering at the triathlon

                                                                        PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service
MARCH 2021 EDITION South West Hospital and Health Service
We respectfully acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands across the South West. We also pay our respects to the
current and future Elders, for they will inherit the responsibility of keeping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture alive,
and for creating a better life for the generations to follow. We believe the future happiness and wellbeing of all Australians
and our future generations will be enhanced by valuing and taking pride in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
peoples – the oldest living culture of humanity.

Augathella – Bidjara (Bid-jara)                                           Quilpie – Bunthamarra (Bun-tha-mar-ra) and
                                                                          Wangkumara (Wong-ka-mara)
Bollon – Kooma (Coo-ma)
                                                                          Roma – Mandandanji (Mand-an-dand-gee)
Charleville – Bidjara (Bid-jara)
                                                                          St George – Kooma (Coo-ma) with Kamilaroi, Mandandanji,
Cunnamulla – Kunya (Koun-yah) with other interests                        Bigambul and Gungarri interests
Dirranbandi – Kooma (Coo-ma)                                              Surat – Mandandanji (Mand-an-dand-gee)
Injune – Kongabula (Kong-ga-bull-a)                                       Thargomindah – Kullila (Coo-lee-lar)
Mitchell – Gunggari (Gon-gari)                                            Wallumbilla – Mandandanji (Mand-an-dand-gee)
Morven – Bidjara (Bid-jara)

Mungindi – Kamilaroi (Car-milla-roy)

    QUALITY               COMPASSION                   ACCOUNTABILITY                  ENGAGEMENT                   ADAPTABILITY

This newsletter is produced by the South West Hospital and Health Service.
All feedback and contributions are welcome to

All published material has been approved by the Health Service Chief Executive.

                                                                              PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service
2                                                                                    PULSE July edition | South West Hospital and Health Service
MARCH 2021 EDITION South West Hospital and Health Service
Welcome to our new HSCE
It is my pleasure to announce that Craig Carey has                   As a rural and remote health service, we continue to be
been appointed as Acting Health Service Chief                        guided by our purpose, vision, values, goals and objectives
                                                                     as articulated in our Strategic Plan and our compassionate
Executive to the South West Hospital and Health
                                                                     care pledge. It is upon this platform that Craig will provide
Service from Monday 26 April until 27 August 2021.                   leadership to our HHS, so we can continue to serve our
                                                                     communities as we work to create healthier communities and
Craig comes highly qualified to lead the South West Hospital
                                                                     deliver safe and effective health services that our communities
and Health Service with extensive rural and remote health
                                                                     have come to trust and value. It is a pleasure to welcome Craig
service management and delivery experience, expertise in
                                                                     to our big sky, red dirt patch of the Outback.
healthcare funding and considerable leadership experience
spanning more than 20 years. Craig’s wide-ranging skills will        Karen Tully
provide a solid foundation for his role as Acting Health Service
Chief Executive at the South West Hospital and Health Service.

As the current General Manager of Acute Health Services,
Central West Hospital and Health Service, Craig is responsible
for acute health service delivery to hospitals and Multipurpose
Health Services. He has acted in the role as Acting Health
Service Chief Executive at Central West Hospital and Health
Service on numerous occasions. He holds various tertiary
qualifications including a Graduate Certificate in Policy
Analysis, Graduate Certificate of Health Management and
Honours 1st Class – Psychology.

Craig is dedicated to delivering the highest standard of care
in rural and remote areas and is committed to prevention,
early intervention and management of chronic diseases and
understands the challenges, enablers and opportunities in
healthcare delivery in the rural and remote areas as he has
lived in the Longreach area for some years. He is passionate
about engaging and working with staff and our partners to
deliver quality and sustainable healthcare.

Craig is very keen to visit all facilities as soon as possible and
will be spending time at several facilities during the week
commencing Monday 19 April with the Board and Executive
Leadership Team prior to his official commencement. I
encourage you all to extend a warm welcome to Craig as he
moves around the South West.

                                                                        PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service
MARCH 2021 EDITION South West Hospital and Health Service
From the Board Chair

“Now is the time to be bold and brave because all parts of
  the health system need, can and should do better”.
Making Tracks Discussion Paper Summary, page 2

In South West Queensland, Non-Indigenous residents have a                You are encouraged to get involved and share your thoughts as
median age of death of 78 years. Personally, I look forward to           to how we can do this. Your voice and thoughts matter.
living until 78 years and beyond in our red dirt, big sky country.
                                                                         Making Tracks Discussion Paper
Sadly, Indigenous residents living in this exact same part of
Queensland may not have as many years to enjoy living in our             Data Source
wonderful part of the world. The median age of death
                                                                         Board Chair Karen Tully and Board Member Kerry Crumblin
for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our area is
                                                                         recently attended the “Making Tracks” Ministerial Roundtable
62 years.
                                                                         and contributed to conversations on health systems reforms
That is a difference, on average, of 16 years. Sixteen years!            and improvements to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait
                                                                         Islander peoples life expectancy parity by 2031.
Yes, this unfair and unjust situation shocks and horrifies
me and this inequality in our glorious part of Queensland is             Whilst in St George recently, I had the honour of doing a task
unacceptable. State-wide discussions on current and future               that very few people would ever get to undertake. Carmel
reforms to achieve health equity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait       Paltridge is a long serving RN and midwife working at St
Islander peoples are currently happening in Queensland. The              George Hospital. However, the emphasis is on long serving.
Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) and            She has been employed with Queensland Health for 720
Queensland Health have published a discussion paper titled               months.……. or in simple terms, 60 years of service.
“Making Tracks” which outlines how we may work together to
                                                                         This astounding journey commenced in 1961 when Carmel
codesign reforms to achieve life expectancy parity by 2031.
                                                                         commenced training at St George in 1961 and she has
In a nutshell, the three key reforms proposed are that within            continuously been contributing to the compassionate care
our health system in Queensland, we must see our First                   of patients and the delivery of generations of infants in St
Nations peoples across and within the health system; we must             George since then. On the day that I had the privilege of
have our First Nations voices in the system and TOGETHER, we             presenting her with an acknowledgement of her service
will design a better system to meet the health needs of our First        award, she was rostered on to do night duty that evening!
Nations people.
                                                                         Carmel, on behalf of South West HHS, I thank you for your
If you have ideas as to what the reform journey towards health           many years of continuous dedicated service to the South West
equity looks like, you are encouraged to be part of the current          and I am humbled by your outstanding contribution.
consultation process. The first thing you can do is read the
                                                                         Carmel Paltridge and her 60 years of service
Making Tracks Discussion Paper and then join into the nine-
                                                                         acknowledgement award at the presentation in St George.
week consultation process happening now and until May,
where you can share suggestions to drive the health equity               Karen Tully
agenda forward.

Quite simply, the consultation process will generate ideas that will
inform the health equity agenda over the next ten years so that
by 2031, Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people in South West
Queensland (and beyond) can expect to live to the same age.

That current sixteen-year gap in the median age of death in the
South West should not exist at all in 2021 and will not exist in 2031.

                                                                            PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service
MARCH 2021 EDITION South West Hospital and Health Service
Board out and about

Karen Tully thanking Carmel Paltridge for her         Carmel Paltridge, Jodie Thompson, Dr Adam Coltzau, Chris Small, Dr Deb Tennett and
60 years service                                      Rebecca Greenway at Carmel’s 60 year length of service morning tea

                                                               Matthew Magin (CEO Balonne Shire), Karen Tully and Kelvin Duiker (Goondir) in
                                                               St George

Carmel Paltridge and Jodie Thompson in St George at Carmel’s
60 year length of service morning tea

                                                               Director of Medical Services St George Dr Adam Coltzau (right) and Director of
                                                               Nursing Jodie Thompson (second from right) taking the South West HH Board
                                                               members (from left) Karen Tully, Jan Chambers, Dr Mark Waters, Ray Chandler
                                                               and Fiona Gaske through the St George Hospital last month

                                                                            PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service
MARCH 2021 EDITION South West Hospital and Health Service
Board out and about (continued)

The South West HH Board visited St George for their March meeting and enjoyed catching up with some of the staff (back from left) Rodney Landers Senior,
Ray Chandler, Robyn Brumpton, Matthew Magin (CEO Balonne Shire), Kelvin Duiker (Goondir), Fiona Gaske, Karen Tully, Sheila Marshall, Samantha O’Toole
(Mayor Balonne Shire) (front from left) Dr Mark Waters, Keith Codrington (CAN Chair St George) , Alex Greenhill (Country Universities Centre, Balonne Shire)
and Jodie Thompson

Congratuating Carmel Paltridge on her 60 years length of service with Queensland                South West HH Board members Dr Mark Waters and Fiona
Health are (back from left) Rodney Landers Senior, Ray Chandler, Jan Chambers, Fiona            Gaske catch up with Roma Hospital Director of Nursing
Gaske, Jodie Thompson, Dr Adam Coltzau, Chris Small, Dr Mark Waters, Helen Murray,              Mellisa Wakefield recently
Rebecca Greenway, Dr Deb Tennett, Helen Wassman with (front from left) Sheila
Marshall, Matt Boyd, Carmel Paltridge, Karen Tully

                                                                                      PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service
MARCH 2021 EDITION South West Hospital and Health Service
From the Acting
                                                 Chief Executive

Welcome everyone to this month’s Pulse which, as ever, is packed full
of amazing examples of person centred activities being driven across
the South West for the benefit of our local communities which we are
privileged to serve each and every day.

Karen’s introduction has spoken of the importance we must          Earlier this month (April) the Senior Leaders Forum received an
all continue to place on working in partnership to further Close   update on our Village Connect framework and also discussed
the Gap in outcomes for First Nations people and communities       an exciting new initiative which will be driven forward in
– not only in the South West – but also across Queensland and      partnership with the South West Clinical Council.
Australia as a whole.
                                                                   Further details will be included in next month’s edition but
With this front of mind, I was proud to announce the recent        I’d like to encourage everyone, from our newest to more
commencement of Rodney Landers Snr as our Acting                   experienced members of staff, to start considering local
Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and       examples of red tape and / or practical solutions which might
Engagement, with further details on this important position        be further promoted to improve our working environment and
provided on page 11.                                               services we provide.

Over recent weeks, we have also appointed Kim Schefe as HR         Thank you for all that you do and bring every day to the
Manager and welcomed back Jodie-Lee Johnson who joins us           South West.
as Acting Director, Governance Risk and Corporate Services. I’d
also like to extend my congratulations to other colleagues who     Matt
have recently joined the South West family.

With the further roll out of COVID-19 vaccinations across the
South West, the recent short notice lockdown in Brisbane just
before the Easter break, and wider implications for us all, is a
timely reminder that there will continue to be no quick fix and
also of course the importance of continuing to maintain best
practice hygiene and social distancing measures both in the
workplace and when out and about in the community.

The recent rains, whilst welcome, have also thrown up its
own problems in terms of flooding and access to our more
remote services.

The Executive Team continue to be impressed, and thankful,
with how easily these unforeseen issues are taken in your
stride and thank you all for your ongoing personal commitment
not only in terms of our proactive response to emerging
situations but also the reassurances you provide to your
communities during times such as these.

                                                                      PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service
MARCH 2021 EDITION South West Hospital and Health Service
Our Communities

National Close the Gap Day was celebrated at the                   Providing culturally safe health services is central to South
Roma Cultural Centre on 15 March.                                  West HHS’s overall purpose and, with approximately 3,500
                                                                   people – or 1.5% of Queensland’s Indigenous population
Senior Indigenous Health Coordinator Rodney Landers Senior         – living in the South West, we are continually investing in
said this year’s celebrations brought staff and community          projects and local services that make a real difference to the
members together in the name of health equality and                communities we serve.
improved outcomes across the board for Australia’s First
                                                                   Rodney explained that as we continue along the Close the Gap
Nations people.
                                                                   journey, we must acknowledge the value of our partnerships
Health promotion was a priority on the day. South West HHS         with Aboriginal medical services, local government and the
set up pop-up stalls with information and advice around            many service providers.
chronic disease, smoking cessation, integrated care and the
                                                                   “This network serves to strengthen the capacity of services,
First Nations COVID-19 response.
                                                                   extending their reach and achieving a shared vision,” he said.
Rodney said a focus area of the National Agreement on Closing      “By working together, we can take meaningful action towards
the Gap centred around children and young people.                  health equality and closing this unacceptable health and life
                                                                   expectancy gap within a generation.”
“We want all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies to be
born healthy and strong, and for little ones to be fully engaged
in quality, culturally appropriate early childhood education so
they can thrive as they grow,” he said.

“Today’s youth are our future … so boosting investments
in babies and children is likely the most effective path to
improving social and health outcomes.”

Since the Close the Gap campaign was first launched in 2006,
Australians have been coming together in ever-increasing
numbers to call out the unacceptable gap in life expectancy
and other health indicators between Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.
                                                                   Rodney Landers officially opens the event
Rodney explained that over recent years many positive health
gains have been made, but that much more needs to be
done, particularly in relation to the high mortality rates from
respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and
other chronic conditions.

                                                                   L-R: Michael Reddan, Gavin Johannesen, Amy McNamara, Olwen
                                                                   Thomas and Lea Walsh

L-R: Matt Boyd, Helen Wassman, Amy McNamara, Chris Small,
Debra Tennant, Rebecca Greenway, Olwen Thomas and Chris

                                                                       PULSE November edition | South West Hospital and Health Service
8                                                                           PULSE July edition | South West Hospital and Health Service
MARCH 2021 EDITION South West Hospital and Health Service
The South West HHS First Nations COVID-19 Response
Project Team has successfully finished their targeted
campaign for our local First Nations people.

For the last four months the Project Team of Karen Birnie,
Rodney Landers Junior, Amy McNamara and Donna Waters
worked tirelessly in collaboration with local community
groups to tailor a local COVID-19 response.

South West HHS A/Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait        Donna Waters and Amy McNamara
Islander Health and Engagement Rodney Landers Senior
said the team worked extremely well together and helped
educate the First Nations people across the South West on
all things COVID.

“The Project Team worked in collaboration with Charleville       “The targeted campaign COVID-19
and Western Areas Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Community Health (CWAATSICH), Cunnamulla Aboriginal              was all about promoting the
Corporation for Health (CACH), Goondir Health Services St        preventative measures such as hand
George (GHS) to tailor a local response focused on COVID-19
prevention and encouraging First Nations people to stay          hygiene, staying home if unwell and
engaged in healthcare,” Rodney said.
                                                                 COVID-19 testing.”
“The targeted campaign COVID-19 was all about promoting
the preventative measures such as hand hygiene, staying
home if unwell and COVID-19 testing.

“They did this through a series of community health events
and talked with local Aboriginal young people to self-nominate
to promote hand hygiene and staying home if unwell.

“And joining them at the health events were staff from the
South West HHS, CWAATSICH, CACH, GHS along with some
select community members including Elders and some youth.”

The Project Team put together promotional material to be
handed out across the South West with important COVID-19
information as well as general health information on chronic
disease management, the importance of health checks and
other health and wellbeing promotions.

Rodney thanked the team on behalf of the South West HHS
for the wonderful efforts in supporting our communities and
First Nations people.
                                                                 RJ Landers and Amy McNamara

                                                                    PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service

As an experienced immunisation nurse, Robyn                           “This is fantastic for people living in the South West as they
Brumpton knew that she would be involved in the                       will be able to access their vaccine right here and will not need
                                                                      to travel away for their vaccine.”
rollout of the CVOID19 vaccination in some form.
With a background in immunisation and infection                       Residents will be advised when the vaccine will become
control coupled with a strong will to help make a                     available in their communities and this will be a phased
                                                                      approached in line with the Commonwealth priority groups.
valuable contribution to the communities across
the South West is what led Robyn Brumpton to
consider becoming the South West HHS COVAX
vaccination lead.

Robyn, who has been nursing for more than 30 years, has
previously been a part of South West wide and state-wide

 “The position really interested me as it ticked all the boxes
of what I love to do while also making a valuable contribution
to the South West community.”

The rollout of such a largescale vaccine might sound daunting
to some but for Robyn she has dived head-first into her new role.

“The enormity of what we are doing across the South West, the
                                                                      Matt Boyd, Dr Alan Richardson, Lesley White and Robyn Brumpton at
country and all over the world is logistically a massive effort.      the Roma Hospital on the first day of the phase 1a COVAX rollout in
I believe it is a once in a lifetime vaccine rollout and to be able   the South West
to be a part of helping this rollout happen is a huge honour.

“There are always obstacles and hurdles that are going to
happen but the rollout across the South West is moving forward.

“We have our three hub sites now live at Roma, Charleville and
St George and we will have vaccination teams travelling out
from the hubs to each of other 12 communities to provide the
vaccine. These will be in line with the phased approach of the
Commonwealth priority groups.”

Robyn said the three Clinical Nurse Consultants who have been
appointed as the three hub leads were all “very experienced
immunisation nurses”.

“We have Michelle Rathjen in Roma, Jill Duff in Charleville and
Deborah Wells in St George ready to ensure the COVAX program
rollout across the South West is safe for our communities and
our staff,” Robyn said. This program is very much a team effort
to ensure this program is delivered with staff across streams
being involved, including Nursing, Medical, Operational,
Administrative, Pharmacy, and our Information Technology
and Communications Team.

                                                                         PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service
10                                                                              PULSE July edition | South West Hospital and Health Service
South West HHS A/Chief Executive Matt Boyd
and South West HH Board Chair Karen Tully have
welcomed Rodney Landers Senior to the position
of A/Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Health and Engagement.

Born and bred in Roma, Rodney is a Mandandanji
Traditional Owner and Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander (ATSI) Leadership Advisory Council. He is well
known for his approachable and down-to-earth attitude,
and as the unofficial face of the Aboriginal Community
across the South West HHS.

“I have a good understanding of my community’s needs,            “Rodney brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding.
concerns and interests,” Rodney said. “I was born and            He previously worked as South West HHS’s Senior Indigenous
educated in Roma and have lived and worked here for most         Health Coordinator,” Matt explained. “In his new role, Rodney
of my life.”                                                     will continue to help us strengthen relationships with local
                                                                 Elders, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community
Matthew Boyd, Acting Health Service Chief Executive              members and the South West’s Aboriginal health services.”
explained that the South West Hospital and Health Board
had set a very specific direction for Aboriginal and Torres      Rodney says he is up for the challenge. “This is an important
Strait Islander Health for the South West, with a strong         time in the evolution of healthcare improvement across the
mandate to improve cultural awareness and cultural               South West, and I am keen to work towards achieving equity
competency of our workforce and our services. Importantly,       and equality in health outcomes and improving the life
to ensure we consider individuals and their care needs as a      expectance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
whole – incorporating physical, social, emotional, cultural
and spiritual aspects of wellbeing when providing care
across a person’s entire life.
                                                                 “I was born and educated in Roma
Matt also explained that the new role would provide oversight
for the South West HHS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander     and have lived and worked here for
health investment portfolio, including Making Tracks and
                                                                 most of my life.”
Closing the Gap programs, and the Health Equity Plan.
Rodney will also review program effectiveness and value,
and make recommendations for reinvestment, while also
providing leadership to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander workforce.

                                                                    PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service

On Sunday 21 March, Charleville’s aspiring and
seasoned triathletes ran, swam and cycled their
way around the town in record numbers.

Champion competitor and HOPE Program go-to Jenny Peacock
explained: “The numbers just blew us away. We had 198
nominations in total, which included 105 kids.”

Jenny also explained that lots of the adult competitors were
South West HHS staff, which is a great recommendation for a
healthy South West community.

Some of the stand-out competitors included Joelee Sullivan
from Charleville Hospital who placed third in the Women’s          Little Riley Sullivan gets ready for the swim
Open and Nurse Practitioner Nicky McKellar, who came first
in the Women’s Mini Tri category. Dietician Laura Bate and
Practice Administrator Lauren Brennan finished team events,
and Lauren Brennan competed the full course – champions all!

But perhaps one of the gutsiest performances on the day came
from South West HHS’s Occupational Therapist Gillian Twist,
who had set a personal goal months earlier to actually finish
the Open Women’s triathlon. Months of training paid off when
she passed the finish line in style, with her own personal fan
club on the sidelines!

Community events like this rely on the efforts of an
experienced organising committee. South West HHS’s Melinda
                                                                   Jenny Peacock and her team – Michael Wex and Shane Peacock
Brassington and Angela Orupe have been on the committee
since the event started back in 2011, and know what’s needed
to make the day a success.

Melinda said, “Every year we are reminded about what a
wonderful event this is. It’s great to see so much community
participation, especially across the kids’ events, which are
always a crowd favourite.”

Special thanks to all the helpers, including RFDS, Murweh
Shire Council, SES and the Charleville Work Camp. Thanks also
to volunteers Catherine O’Connor (Community Nurse) and Kate
Driscoll (Speech Therapist). Lawrie Usher, South West HHS’s
Manager Occupational Health and Safety and Jill Usher from
Murweh Shire Council have also been long-time volunteers and
supporters of the Charleville tri.

The Charleville Hospital Auxiliary took the opportunity to raise   Gillian’s cheer squad
funds by catering on the day and it also gave the HOPE Program’s
Jenny Peacock the perfect forum to promote sun safety.

                                                                      PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service

In Heather Geary’s three years as Roma’s
Community Advisory Network (CAN) Chair she
saw a lot of change.

The most significant was seeing the completion of the new
Roma Hospital.

The active and passionate community member who remains
a member of the Roma CAN said in her time as Chair she made
some wonderful memories.

“The new hospital being built and opened during my time as
Chair was a great experience,” Heather said.                         “Tallis is a well-respected, capable young man that Tracy would
                                                                     be proud of and I thank him for his nomination for CAN Chair
“But I have always enjoyed taking part in the annual CAN Forums
                                                                     and wish all the very best in his role as the first Indigenous
for the networking and seeing other passionate like-minded
                                                                     South West HHS CAN Chair.”
community members involved in their local health services.
                                                                     Heather will continue to be active in the community, not only
“Being a part of a CAN is a real privilege and being invited
                                                                     as a member of the Roma Hospital CAN but on the many other
to different facility events, hearing staff presentations at
                                                                     organisations she is involved in.
meetings and events and also seeing staff presented with
awards for their dedicated service was always wonderful.”

Heather, who had previously worked in health for many years,
said she loved being the Roma Hospital CAN Chair as it kept          “Being a part of a CAN is a real
her informed of what was happening in Queensland Health
and the South West HHS.
                                                                     privilege and being invited to
                                                                     different facility events, hearing
“Having the opportunity to be involved in the new Roma Hospital
build and to see it completed was an honour as I had been            staff presentations at meetings
involved from the ‘asking for a new hospital stage’ and personally   and events and also seeing staff
knew every crack and fault in the old building,” she said.
                                                                     presented with awards for their
“I had monitored them (the cracks and faults) with the
consultants while in my Senior Project Officer role as well as       dedicated service was always
arranged major capital works on all of the old buildings.”           wonderful.”
Although she loved being the Roma CAN Chair, she said she
believed that others should be given a chance to “enjoy the
role too’.

“I invited Tallis (Landers) to join the Roma Hospital CAN
after his mother and passionate CAN member Tracy Landers
passed away.

                                                                        PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service
13                                                                             PULSE July edition | South West Hospital and Health Service

This month’s road trip took me to the unique                       Nite program, which is held in community pubs and requires
and diverse landscapes of South West HHS’s                         male and female volunteers. The aim is to educate people on
                                                                   standard drinks and the effects of alcohol over time.
Charleville hub and spoke sites in the Murweh,
Paroo, Bulloo and Quilpie Shires. I visited GP                     I look forward to a return visit as Healthy Communities continue
clinics to offer staff and community support and                   towards our ‘Ditch the Durries – Target 320’ quit campaign.

discuss ideas for reducing smoking and alcohol                     Next trip: Surat, Mitchell, Injune, Wallumbilla and Roma over
intake in these communities.                                       the next few weeks.

I drove through some patchy and inconsistent rainfall around       Michael
Thargomindah and Quilpie and saw lots of green growth and
flows of water transforming the countryside and other areas
desperate for rain.

I was warmly welcomed at each of the HHS facilities and GP
Practices and am grateful for the time I was able to spend
meeting DONs, smoking cessation champions, doctors and
nurses. It was great to see the ‘Ditch the Durries – Target 320’
banners on display along with the Quitline postcards
in reception areas.

More banners have been produced for display in foyer and
reception areas. These will be sent to facilities along with a
supply of the Quitline post cards.

Our smoking cessation champions are doing a fantastic job,
connecting with smokers and having conversations about
                                                                   Dr Paul Chang with Michael Redden at Charleville Hospital
the benefits of quitting to improve immediate and long-term
health outcomes, and reduce the financial burden of smoking.

I provided an overview of the Alcohol Toolbox Talk to some
of our HHS DONs and smoking cessation champions: Karyn
Findlay in Morven, Liza Watkins in Cunnamulla, Alan Thompson
in Thargomindah, Gary Steer in Quilpie and Sally Gorman in

Fiona Forbes DON at Augathella offered a generous welcome
and arranged for me to deliver the Healthy Communities Alcohol
Toolbox Talk. The beer goggles made some of the participants a
little nauseous. Safer than a heavy night out though!

I also let everyone know that smoking cessation training/
workshops will be announced and promoted well in advance.
I also took the opportunity at each facility to discuss a
partnership with Queensland Police to deliver their Drink Rite     Thargomindah DON Alan Thompson sees the world through beer goggles

                                                                      PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service

Bangarra Dance Theatre visited Cunnamulla in
March for the long-overdue launch their Rekindling
youth program at the state school.

The HOPE Program’s Sue Eustace-Earle explained that thanks
to COVID-19, Bangarra’s first visit, which had originally been
scheduled for mid-2020, had to be postponed.

“HOPE lobbied Bangarra and members of the local community
back in 2019 to bring the Rekindling Program to Cunnamulla
in 2020,” she said. “But, like many of our plans last year,
Rekindling had to be pushed back. But we’re all delighted to
be back in business now restrictions have lifted,” she said.

The Rekindling Program is a three-year initiative delivered in
partnership with the local community. It’s a highly creative
                                                                    Bangarra’s Rekindling team: Sani Townson (far left); Sidney Saltner
program, undertaken over three ‘gatherings’ with the aim of         (centre); Mitchell Harrison-Currie (far right) with Sue Eustace-Earle
inspiring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to be      (HOPE, 2nd left); Lacey McCormack (Cunnamulla P-12 State School),
proud of their cultural background and understand their role as     centre; and Ethan Capewell (Deadly Choices, 2nd from the right)
future custodians of their culture – and for this knowledge and
pride to be translated into dance.

Students and the Bangarra team consulted with community
Elders about local stories and culture that can be ‘rekindled’.
They learned Bangarra dance repertoire and also began to
develop their own dances based on the stories they learned
from the Elders.

“Rekindling was delivered previously in Charleville,” Sue
explained. “Those students absolutely loved working with the
amazing Bangarra dancers and choreographers, and the HOPE
Program wanted the Cunnamulla students to have the same
wonderful experience.”

Bangarra is one of Australia’s leading performing arts
companies, widely acclaimed nationally and around the world
for powerful dancing, distinctive theatrical artistry and utterly
unique soundscapes, music and design.

Thirty-six Cunnamulla high school students had the benefit of       Bangarra Dancer Mitchell Harrison-Currie shows the Cunnamulla Fella
this creative practice at Gathering 1 and are looking forward to    a few cool moves

Gathering 2, which is scheduled for July.

                                                                       PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service

The Healthy Kids project offers free health                      PD topics include social and emotional wellbeing, physical
professional development for the early childhood                 health and wellbeing, and language and communication. The
                                                                 focus for 2021 is on trauma-informed care in the early years.
education and care (ECEC) sector.
                                                                 If you would like to know more about how this early childhood
Coordinated by the Centre for Children’s Health and Wellbeing,   professional development could be used within your community,
Children’s Health Queensland, the project aims to bring          please contact Kathy Morrow on SWHHS-Healthy-Communities@
together local early childhood educators and other key  or on 0407 153 052.
partners to engage in free face-to-face health-content PD that
complements early years learning frameworks.

The PD includes a webinar hosted by health and early
childhood leaders who focus on strategies to support
children’s development. There are also group discussions and
local health panels as well as a quarterly e-newsletter with
links to other useful resources and relevant research.

South West’s Primary and Community Care team
has been sharing an important message with
Roma’s kindy kids as part of the Health Promotion
in Early Childhood (HPEC) program.

Team Leader Kathy Morrow explained that allied health
assistant Olwen Thomas has been delivering this program
across the Maranoa for the last few years.

“Given the circumstances around the world over the last 12
months, teaching kids about hygiene and their safety and
wellbeing has never been more important,” she said.

Children in the Maranoa have been learning about Breathe,
Blow, Cough – where they practise more hygienic ways to blow
their noses and cough to help prevent the spread of germs that   UV Box highlights germs on little hands
cause ear trouble, coughs, colds and, of course, COVID-19.

The children also learn about germ busting and the importance
of proper hand washing, which Olwen said was a winner with
the kids.

“We use a UV box, which literally lights up germs on little
hands,” she explained. “Kids love this as they get to see with
their own eyes how important it is to keep their hands clean.”

                                                                    PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service

Residents from Waroona Multipurpose Centre
have been busy since 2021 kicked off!

Waroona’s Lifestyle Coordinator Eula Grajo has already
organised this year a monthly choir to come and visit the
residents and a trip to the newly constructed Morven Hotel.

“I really do love that I get to bring smiles on our residents’
faces and to have the community on board to help do this is
wonderful,” Eula said.

She asked the Solomon Island Choir to come and sing at
Waroona after seeing them at an ecumenical service one day.

“I attended a service with one of the residents and we
saw them sing and dance. Our resident loved it so much
I approached the leader to see if they would perform at
Waroona,” Eula said.

“They agreed to play and have really enjoyed sharing their
culture and talents with our residents and one of our residents
Ernie even joins in and plays the didgeridoo with them.”

                                                                       Our residents visiting the Morven Hotel recently for lunch with
                                                                       some of the local Healthy Ageing ladies

The Solomon Islander Choir Group perform at Waroona with Waroona
resident Ernie Adams, who played his Didgeridoo with the panpipes of
the Solomon Islanders. They played Waltzing Matilda together

                                                                          PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service

Healthy Ageing clients and visitors enjoyed a
special breakfast to celebrate IWD on 8 March.

South West HHS’s Deb Alick and Jenny Peacock organised the
morning, which provided the perfect forum to promote local
South West HHS services relating to women’s health. Various
presenters explained their roles and how best to access their
services, and our Women’s Health Nurse, Sharon Young, gave
an informative presentation and answered lots of questions.

Guests were treated to a healthy breakfast on tables that had
been beautifully decorated by students from Charleville State
High. Special thanks also to Joelene Russell for her beautiful
Women’s Day painting that guests were invited to sign.

This breakfast was just one of several events across the South
West on IWD to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and
political achievements of women.
                                                                         South West HHS’s De Dennis and Tegan Russell

RESQ guests, from L-R: Lauren Muller, Paulina Martinez, Rachael Thompson and Leanne Miller

                                                                            PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service

On 7 March, the Injune Memorial hall was                       and the local police sergeant spoke about coercive control,
transformed into a health and wellness hub when                how to spot signs of domestic violence, internet safety and
                                                               personal protection strategies.”
110 women of all ages gathered for the inaugural
Day of Difference.                                             Lea said health professionals who attended the day also found
                                                               it very beneficial, especially South West HHS Women’s Health
The day came about following an approach last year by South    Nurse Sharon Young said she almost ran out of business cards!
West HHS’s Tackling Regional Adversity through Integrated
Care (TRAIC) team to the local Injune community. They asked    “It was a fantastic day and I made quite a few wonderful
about the needs of local women especially around mental        connections with other healthcare providers, so it was an
health and wellbeing.                                          invaluable in terms of promoting the women’s health service,”
                                                               Sharon said.
South West HHS’s Lea Walsh from the TRAIC team and Jasmine
Light from the Healthy Communities team helped get the day     The Maranoa Regional Council contributed funds and girls from
up and running.                                                the local Youth Group helped on the day by welcoming guests,
                                                               introducing speakers and serving food.
Lea explained that the idea was to help the community
celebrate International Women’s Day on a Sunday so that many   Lea said the girls were included in every aspect, from concept
local ladies could attend.                                     to clean-up, learning what is involved in running a community
                                                               event – skills that will help them when they plan future Youth
“We had ladies from Injune and the surrounding areas of        Group events.
Tooloombilla, Bymount and Arcadia Valley coming together for
a day of fun, friendship and fabulous food,” Lea said.         Council was delighted to receive a heartfelt message from a
                                                               guest, “the feelings of happiness of women from all walks of
“Local entrepreneurs showcased their crafts and health         life in our community on such a special day was wonderful to
practitioners presented on a range of topics including         be part of”.
mindfulness, healthy eating, age-appropriate exercise, self-
care and women’s health.                                       Lea said, “it was a wonderful day recognising the incredible
                                                               resilience of rural women. The event celebrated, informed and
“Gail Courte from Rural Aid gave an overview of available      energized attendees, but most importantly it reminded all of us
assistance, a finance expert spoke about the importance of     of the importance of health check, listening to our bodies and
good communication for mental health and family cohesion,      checking in with each other,” she said.

Injune’s Day of Difference

                                                                  PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service
Carmel Paltridge has seen a lot in her 60 years as a Registered     “One year, Carmel was working on the show day and there was
Nurse and Midwife at St George Hospital.                            a sick child that needed a doctor. None of the other nurses
                                                                    would call him as he ‘was too scary’ but she got on the loud
On 16 February 1961 Carmel started her general training as a        speaker at the show and called out his name to come the
nurse with Queensland Health.                                       hospital straight way!”
Sixty years later, Carmel is still doing what she loves saying      Carmel’s line manager and A/Director of Nursing Jodie
“It’s easy to come to work when I love what I do!”                  Thompson said it was wonderful for the community that Carmel
For some of her colleagues, Carmel’s 60th year anniversary          still loved nursing.
was a bittersweet moment as they recalled many interactions         “Carmel continues to do her three nights per fortnight and will
with Carmel.                                                        pick up an extra shift if required but not on Wednesday as that
Midwife Yvonne Argent shared one of her earliest memories of        is the day she does her community contribution at Vinnies (St
working beside Carmel.                                              Vincent’s),” Jodie said.

“The story I would like to tell you about is how much               “Carmel loves this weekly visit as she gets to spend time with
dedication and pride Carmel takes in her work and caring for        her long term nursing friend there.
our community,” Yvonne said.                                        “I have only been Carmel’s manager for just over 12 months
“Soon after I arrived in this community, Carmel introduced          and have found her to be a very knowledgeable staff member
me to a young lady, who she had looked after as an unwell           who loves her job.”
newborn baby. She developed extremely high jaundice levels          One thing for certain is that Carmel’s love for nursing and the
which had put her at a high risk for brain damage.                  St George community is still as strong as the day she started.
“However, Carmel and the staff at the time at St George             Congratulations Carmel on your 60 years with Queensland
proceeded with an exchange transfusion on her which was a           Health!
great responsibility they all took on.

“And today the young lady is fit and well and Carmel was so proud
of the team who worked together that day to help this baby.”

As an active member for 20 years with the St George Rotary her
community spirit shines through not just at the hospital but
also in the community.

And this community spirit resonated with a story she
shared with St George Hospital Senior Medical Officer
Dr Cameron Bardsley.

“Carmel is one of the wonderful ‘fixtures’ we are fortunate to
have in St George and at the St George Hospital,” Cameron said.

“She always puts the community first and this rang very true from
a story she shared with me from a long time ago about a doctor
who religiously refused to work on the St George Show Day.

                                                                       PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service
Our Teams


Tania Felstead from the Red Rose Foundation                         South West HHS’s HOPE Program partners with many different
visited Charleville and Cunnamulla recently to talk                 organisations to support the communities of Charleville and
                                                                    Cunnamulla to work together to improve health and social
about domestic and family violence.
                                                                    outcomes for young people and their families. Everyone agrees
                                                                    – together, we can and must change the ending.
The Red Rose Foundation is a non-profit organisation that
actively works towards ending domestic violence-related deaths
– through educating to advocating, partnering and fundraising –
with the overall goal to Change the Ending.

Tania delivered a training session on non-lethal strangulation
prevention and met with like-minded community members who           “The Red Rose Foundation is a non-
all agree that more can be done to protect DV victims and help      profit organisation that actively works
perpetrators change their behaviour.
                                                                    towards ending domestic violence-
Accompanied by Sue Eustace-Earle from the HOPE Program,
Tania also took a tour of the communities’ red benches, which       related deaths”
are designed to be permanent reminders that domestic violence
occurs within all our communities.

(L - R) Tania Felstead, Cindy Anderson and Kerry Crumblin at CACH   Tania Felstead and Donna Enders catch up on one of
in Cunnamulla                                                       Charleville’s red benches

                                                                       PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service

Roma played host to two of Queensland’s most
senior allied health professionals, Chief Allied
Health Officer Liza-Jane McBride and Principal
Allied Health Workforce Officer Ilsa Nielsen.

Whilst in Roma, Liza-Jane and Ilsa met with South West HHS’s
Executive Planning and Performance Committee and our allied
health workforce. They presented an overview of current allied
health within the South West and explained statewide strategies
and innovative models of care. Their presentation also explored
changes to industrial agreements, clinical education and
student placements. The pair also toured the new Roma Hospital
with Mellisa Wakefield, Director of Nursing at Roma Hospital and
Shaun Hamwood, Director of Pharmacy.

Their presentation showed that South West HHS’s proportion
of allied health assistant roles is amongst the highest in the     L-R seated: Matt Boyd, Liza-Jane McBride, Ilsa Nielsen, Rodney Lander
state. The South West takes on new graduates at an equivalent      Senior and Louisa Dufty; L-R standing: Rebecca Greenway, Helen
                                                                   Wassman, Shaun Hamwood and Dr Debbie Tennett
rate to the state average and generally provides more clinical
placement hours than the state average.

Liza-Jane and Ilsa also highlighted the importance of the Allied
Health Rural Generalist – someone with a broad scope of clinical
capabilities that allows them to treat a highly varied clinical
caseload using various delivery methods. A rural generalist must
also have a range of non-clinical capabilities including project
management and quality improvement, service evaluation and
planning, clinical education and training, and collaborative
practice and leadership.

Queensland Health partnered with James Cook University and
Queensland University of Technology to develop the Allied
Health Rural General Pathway program, which is delivered in two    Touring the new Roma Hospital, L-R: Annmarie McErlain, Ilsa Nielsen,
                                                                   Liza-Jane McBride, Mellisa Wakefield, Shaun Hamwood and Lyndall Hall
stages and results in a Graduate Diploma qualification.

South West HHS has the largest uptake of the Rural Generalist
Pathway in Queensland and the greatest number of allied health
rural generalist trainees of any health service in Australia.

                                                                      PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service
Our Services


A landmark health forum in Western Queensland                      “Burnout means you go to work each day feeling nauseated,
has heard one of the keys to maintaining a stable,                 you struggle to sleep, and when you get to work there’s a
                                                                   sense of dread, and that’s when patient care suffers and errors
effective health workforce in the bush is to provide
                                                                   can occur.”
better support for partners of re-located health
professionals, half of whom experience burnout                     “We need to create Practices that have a sense of wellbeing for
                                                                   staff and patients alike, and one of the keys to that is support
due to isolation and workload.
                                                                   for the partners and children of the health professionals who’ve
More than 100 delegates attended the South West Health             relocated to rural or remote regions, because it’s often not the
Forum in Roma in early March, agreeing that better planning        partner’s choice to make such a big move,” Dr Bollen said.
and greater collaboration through shared resources will            The strategy of “partner support” was echoed by Maranoa
improve patient care and help fill the gaps in rural and remote    Regional Council Mayor Tyson Golder, who welcomed
primary health care.                                               delegates to the region.
“Out here in the bush people don’t care whose logo is on the       “One thing I’ll be bringing to Council is a Partners’ Policy
shirt, they just want access to services that are affordable, as   – a strategy to get direct feedback from partners of health
close to their communities as possible, and appropriate for        professionals on what they want when they come here,
them,” Western Queensland Primary Health Network (WQPHN)           because that’s gold as far as workforce retention in the bush
CEO Sandy Gillies said.                                            is concerned,” Councillor Golder said.
“Sharing resources not only means workforce on the ground,         “When you go to a country town on a Saturday afternoon,
it also means sharing data about populations in Western            there is no one in the main street because they’re all out
Queensland, because at the moment the information is far too       doing things. We’ve got so much here that a lot of health
siloed across different organisations leading to reduced clarity   professionals don’t experience because they don’t get
on the burden of disease in certain communities.”                  embedded into the culture, and then they leave.”
“The Forum was very positive and showed there is a                 “A conference like this with health professionals is a great
willingness to collaborate more and unshackle some of the          opportunity to promote the lifestyle and culture of this region
jurisdictional barriers that have hindered cooperation in the      because it’s welcoming, supportive and a fantastic place to
past, a sentiment that pleasingly has parallels with what’s        live,” he said.
being strived for at a national level in rural health,” Sandy
Gillies said.                                                      National Rural Health Commissioner Adjunct Professor Ruth
                                                                   Stewart says one of the ways to attract and retain health
The two-day Forum was a collaboration between Health               professionals in the bush is to target universities.
Workforce Queensland and the WQPHN, featuring speakers
including National Rural Health Commissioner Adjunct               “If you attract kids from rural and remote areas into universities
Professor Ruth Stewart, leading General Practice and Primary       to the undergraduate courses, we know that they are much
Care Researcher Professor Claire Jackson, and Adelaide             more likely than their urbans peers to end up working in the
medico Dr Chris Bollen.                                            bush,” Professor Stewart said.

“50% of all health professionals experience the ‘burnout
factor’ and in the bush it’s more pronounced because of the
geographical isolation, lower levels of support, high workloads
and patchy internet connectivity,” said Dr Bollen who
specialises in helping General Practices improve performance.

                                                                      PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service
Health forum commits to greater collaboration of rural and remote health workers cont.

Feedback from Key Delegates at the Forum
Chris Mitchell, Health Workforce Queensland CEO –
“I took away a sense of hopefulness, a sense of genuine
collaboration and saw significant opportunities of how we
can work together, to make sure our patients are better off
and our communities are healthier.”

Associate Professor Geoff Argus, Director of Southern
Queensland Rural Health – “Too often healthcare occurs
in silos, so it was wonderful to hear about the incredible
initiatives occurring across the South West at the individual
organisation level and through collaborative partnerships in
both health service delivery and health workforce solutions.”

Matt Boyd, Acting South West Hospital and Health Service CEO
– “It was a wonderful health forum and fantastic to see the
commitment to continue to work with each other on improving
the access and health of our communities by partnering to
deliver projects, investigating innovative workforce models
and co-designing models of care with our communities to
                                                                    Maranoa Regional Council Mayor Tyson Golder
meet their needs.”

Leading health researcher Professor Claire Jackson addressing the   National Rural Health Commissioner Professor Ruth Stewart, one of the
SW Health Forum in Roma                                             key speakers at the SW Health Forum in Roma

                                                                       PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service

As part of South West HHS’s commitment to                           Proposed Face-to-Face Training Dates for 2021
workforce safety, funding and resources have been
made available to adapt a training package around                   LOCATION                       DATE

preventing occupational violence.                                   Roma / Westhaven               2/3/4 March - completed

South West HHS’s Manager Occupational Health and Safety
                                                                    Charleville / Waroona          13/14 April
Lawrie Usher explained that two South West HHS staff are now
accredited to present the training across the health service.       Cunnamulla                     15 April
Lawrie also said that in addition to face-to-face training, there
                                                                    Mitchell                       11 May
is also an online mandatory component for all staff on the
learning online (LOL) portal called Conflict Management and
                                                                    Charleville                    12 May
Challenging Behaviour Awareness.
                                                                    Senior Leaders Forum           8 June
“The online module covers the topics of recognising and
reducing risk, understanding behaviour and personal safety
                                                                    Roma / Westhaven               9/10 June
awareness,” Lawrie said.

“Completion of the online module is mandatory and a pre-            Quilpie                        20 July
requisite for the face-to-face component,” he said
                                                                    Cunnamulla                     21 July
Lawrie also explained that additional face-to-face sessions had
been developed for frontline staff and would soon be available      Augathella                     22 July
for bookings on LOL.
                                                                    St George                      31 August
“Online and face-to-face modules both require refreshers
every two years. The face-to-face component will provide            Dirranbandi                    1 September
staff with the skills to identify and de-escalate potentially
violent situations, as well as instruction on avoiding assault,     Mungindi                       2 September
disengagement, and redirecting and guiding.”
                                                                    Charleville / Waroona          12 October
The complementary online module ‘Safer Lone Worker’ is for
staff who may be required to provide services outside the           Quilpie                        13 October
normal hospital and clinic environment, such as a community
nurse, support worker or midwife making home visits.                Charleville / Waroona          14 October

                                                                    Injune                         24 November

                                                                    Surat                          25 November

                                                                      PULSE March 2021 edition | South West Hospital and Health Service
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